2015 Bee Hunter "Docker Hill Vineyard" Mendocino Pinot Noir

SKU #1390791 96 points Wine Enthusiast

 The nose of this wine from the folks at Balo Vineyards is full of ripe fruit, giving it a powerful yet nuanced feel. Intense, deep fruit flavor mingles with sage, rhubarb, black tea and a touch of black pepper. It's delicious and complex on the palate, with smooth, fine layers of integrated tannins and acidity. Best after 2023. *Cellar Selection* (JG)  (11/2018)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "A perfect blend of black and red fruit. People are drawn to this wine - perhaps because is the most Burgundian of them all. A powerful, classic Comptche vintage. You can look down on the Oppenlander Vineyard from Docker Hill."

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By: Robert Cash | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/16/2019 | Send Email
On the nose, the 2015 Bee Hunter "Docker Hill Vineyard" Mendocino Pinot Noir surrenders a lovely array of layered red and black fruits, spice, black pepper, orange peel, and forest floor notes. On the palate, the wine is richly complex with finely woven tannins, fresh acidity, and a long finish. Delicious now, and will continue to evolve over the next few years.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/14/2019 | Send Email
This is a super-unique wine from one of the up-and-coming Mendocino producers. More than anything, this brings to mind Melville in the Sta Rita Hills: a producer making bigger, more fruit-forward wines in cooler climates. And boy, does this one deliver. Lush, and richly layered, it hits that classic kirsch note you find throughout Mendocino Pinot Noir, but with so much more weight, breadth and texture. I found it strikingly similar to the Kosta Browne Cerise, which WAY more than twice the price. Full of blackberry, ripened strawberries and a touch of orange zest this is a wine not to be missed by anyone who loves Mendocino Pinot Noir.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/7/2019 | Send Email
A lovely expression of varietal and place. Soaring aromatics of forest berries, pomegranate, sandalwood, clove, bramble, truffle oil, loamy earth. Fresh and vibrant with beautiful purity of fruit balanced by some more savory and spice elements. Elegantly textured but nicely concentrated and flavorsome. Really well executed Pinot that checks all the boxes. Definitely a producer to keep your eyes on - huge potential here.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Anderson Valley/Mendocino

- Cooled by the nearby ocean and the seemingly omnipresent bank of oceanic fog, this picturesque wine region is home to a wealth of cool-climate grapes like riesling and gewürztraminer plus chardonnay and pinor noir, which are responsible for impressive and intense sparkling wines.